2020/21 senior hockey season null and void, no Muskies this year

October 8, 2020   ·   0 Comments


There has been yet another casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Western Ontario Athletic Association has announced there will not be a senior hockey season this year.

The situation was discussed at the organization’s  Annual Meeting on Thursday, September 24.

A motion was moved, seconded, and carried that “collectively as members of the W.O.A.A. Senior Hockey League, a decision was made that there would be no playing season for 2020 – 2021 hockey season.”

This means the Shelburne Senior Muskies won’t be on the ice this year.

Senior hockey in the WOAA began in the 1948/49 season and has ran continuously for 72 seasons.

The decision cancels the original plans of having a late start to the season.

The season usually gets underway in October however it was decided to move the start of the season back to December for a late start.

The current ‘second wave’ of COVID-19 forced the WOAA to re-think its position on allowing the schedule to go ahead.

Board members considered the ‘likelihood of limited or no fans due to COVID-19 and the ‘costs of running a season’ when making their decision.

“There was a meeting of the club GM’s,” said Barry Trood, general manager of the Muskies. “We thought we’d get a shorter schedule, but the (COVID) numbers have just gone the other way. Some of the clubs don’t even know if they’ll have an area to play at this year. The situation, the way it is, it costs a lot of money to keep and arena running if no one is booking the ice.”

The entire situation, Trood said, from lack of dressing rooms and lack of support from sponsors and related club fund raising efforts, just made it impossible to put a season together.

“With our senior club, the refs have to get dressed before the game, there isn’t any dressing rooms available. We can’t have the Blueline Club, and there would be no fans. Going forward with these issues, it just isn’t viable for the League to operate. Obviously we’re a fan-based league. With the sponsors, we can’t even guarantee a year. It’s hard to go out there and talk to the sponsors when we can’t even guarantee them we’re going to have a season. With the economy the way it is, a lot of small business have been hit hard. We’re a community driven team and we’ve been here for a long time. To have no fan base and no proper hockey, it just became impossible to go on the ice this year.”

Even if the League had decided to try to have a season, some municipalities have not put ice in their arenas so teams would have nowhere to play.

Whether ice goes in is a decision made at the municipal level. Some communities have decided that the cost of keeping ice in an arena this year just isn’t worth the cost.

The only thing League executives can do is hope the current situation is resolved and plan for next season.



Readers Comments (0)

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Page Reader Press Enter to Read Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Pause or Restart Reading Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Stop Reading Page Content Out Loud Screen Reader Support